Port Alice’s new chief administrative officer is aiming to make his mark on the village.
“I want to make sure I leave Port Alice a better place to live for the people here — that’s my goal,” said CAO Paul Carver in an exclusive sit-down interview after the village’s latest council meeting.
Carver comes to Port Alice with over 30 years of civil engineering experience, including 28 years working directly in local government.
“I think it’s a significant benefit to the village here,” Carver said of his engineering background.
“Especially this year — the village has been very fortunate, they have got a lot of outside grant funding from the federal government and the province.”
Carver continued, adding “This year we are putting in place over $2,000,000 in projects, and because some of the projects are very technical in nature, I think it’s a benefit to have somebody here that has a technical background.”
Carver is a self-proclaimed Manitoba boy.
He grew up in Winnipeg, where he also completed his schooling in civil engineering.
In 1990, Carver made the move to British Columbia, where he got a job with the City of Surrey in the engineering department doing grant work.
“I moved to B.C. when I was single,” Carver said.
“I met my wife in the Lower Mainland and within four-and-a-half years I got married and had my first son.”
After nine years in Surrey, Carver and his family made the move north to the Village of Burns Lake, which is in the Central Interior of B.C., where a position in senior management had opened up at the village municipal office.
“I looked after the operation of the town — anything from engineering, to planning, building inspection, law enforcement, public works, you name it.”
After another nine years, Carver made the move 128 kilometres southeast to Vanderhoof to accept a position as the Director of Operations with the District.
In this role, Carver was a senior manager and reported to the Chief Administrative Officer of the District of Vanderhoof.
“I had a lot more responsibility,” Carver said. “I was looking after engineering, public works, land use planning, subdivisions, animal control, oversaw building inspection, and I was also the airport manager.”
Carver noted that because he was involved in most aspects of the operations of a municipality, the next logical step for him was a position as a chief administrative officer.
“I felt it was time to spread my wings,” said Carver. “My wife and I thought now was the time to do it, and of course, the job had opened up in Port Alice.”
When Carver first came to Port Alice, he said he was marvelled by the beauty.
“If you look at our municipal office which is situated looking over the ocean, it’s just phenomenal.”
Although this is Carver’s first role as a Chief Administrative Officer, he said council has welcomed him with open arms.
“My role here is looking after public works, engineering for the town, land use planning, bylaw enforcement, and animal control. It’s going to be a fairly full plate so it should keep me busy, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Outside of work, Carver plans to spend his time fly fishing and playing music.
“I have been a musician on and off for forty years,” he said, adding when he lived in Vanderhoof he played in a band, and if he has enough time, he would love to connect with some local musicians.
Carver stressed he will always have an open door if people want to come meet with him.
“I will never shoo anybody away — I work on behalf of the people and the taxpayers of Port Alice.”
– Hanna Petersen article